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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  August 2, 2010 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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center for great white shark activity. that's something that is going to be something people need to pay attention to. >> it's fascinating. i would think your tourism would increase because of people like me who would love to get up there and go on a boat just to see what it looks like to see a great white shark up close. mr. bowles, thanks so much for being with us. we're out of time. wolf blitzer joins us now. thank you, rick. happening now, after seven years and a fortune in american blood and treasure president obama looks to the end of the iraq war with a massive troop drawdown and combat operations to end in less than a month. also, wounded warriors transported from the front lines in afghanistan back home sometimes within just 48 hours. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr was granted exclusive access and travels along for the journey home and out of harm's way. plus, hundreds of thousands of people about to be cut off from e-mail, text messages, and the internet as one country prepares to pull the plug on blackberries. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the situation room.
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when the united states invaded iraq back in march of 2003 few people would have imagined that seven years later it would be president barack obama announcing the end of combat operations. but that's exactly what he did today in a speech to the national convention of disabled american veterans taking credit for making good on one of his central campaign promises. >> shortly after taking office i announced our new strategy for iraq and for a transition to full iraqi responsibility. and i made it clear that by august 31st, 2010, america's combat mission in iraq would end. and that is exactly what we are doing. as promised and on schedule. >> let's bring in our senior
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white house correspondent ed henry who traveled with the president to atlanta for this speech. ed, if you listen closely the president didn't flatly say the u.s. has won in iraq or is even winning in iraq. did he? >> reporter: that's right. that's by design. i talked to a top white house official today and said are you going to declare victory or not and they wouldn't go there. they saw what happened when president bush had the mission accomplished banner much earlier obviously in the war. that blew up on that white house's face. they've learned that lesson and they are clearly not going to do any aircraft carrier moments in this white house. secondly, there's good reason to be skeptical right now. even as the president was hailing a campaign promise that was met, which is true, the fact of the matter is the security situation on the ground in iraq is not completely stable yet. and just this weekend the iraqi government put out some new numbers saying that july was the deadliest month in about two years on the ground in iraq. now, administration officials insist those numbers are wrong but the bottom line point is
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that come august 31st when u.s. combat troops come out it's not like some magic switch that's going to go off and suddenly the iraqi government can stand on its own two feet. this white house doesn't know what's going to happen once the combat troops come out, wolf. >> how does this tie into what's happening in afghanistan where the united states is still building up its troop presence? >> it's a good question, because the white house hopes that today is a model for afghanistan, that come next summer the president has called that sort of a pivot point for afghanistan and he can begin withdrawing troops there but it's interesting, another thing he didn't mention in today's speech was george w. bush's surge and republicans pounce onondaga thd on that and reason is this president doesn't want to give the last president for a surge that many democrats including senator obama opposed. now the shoe is on the other foot. this president is surging troops not to iraq but to afghanistan nan a few weeks there will be a hundred thousand u.s. troops on the ground in afghanistan and it's not clear yet whether when next summer comes up the
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afghanistan government just like the iraq government now is going to be stable enough for a real handoff, wolf. >> ed henry is on the scene for us. thanks very much. the united states certainly has laernld t learned the hard way things in iraq don't often go as planned. here is the question. is the obama administration prepared to change its time line if necessary? i'll talk about that and much more with one of the president's top national security advisers, the nsc chief of staff. he is here in "the situation room." we're learning new information right now about the u.s. army private suspected of leaking tens of thousands of documents about the war in afghanistan. turns out he may have faced, get this, earlier disciplinary action. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr is working this story for us. it's a pretty shocking development, barbara, but explain what we know. >> reporter: well, wolf, details are beginning to seep out about private first class bradley manning. no matter how much the pentagon wants to clamp down on information, we are now learning that he faced disciplinary
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action perhaps twice. military officials say just a few months ago manning got into a fight it is alleged with another service member and was busted down a rank, demoted from specialist back to private first class. that was the most recent one. but another military official tells us that manning was disciplined in 2008 when he attended intelligence school in the united states. now, we don't know what that discipline was for but the website wired.com reported that manning had uploaded videos containing classified discussions, classified information about where he attended school and what he was doing. that would have been a violation. the military not saying that that was it but saying that he was punished also back in 2008, wolf. >> here is a question. if you faced disciplinary action, why is it that you retain your top-secret security
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clearance? >> reporter: well, absolutely. that is the question on the table. manning actually had a higher level clearance, well, as you say, top-secret, plus one that allowed him access to very specialized if you will compartmented. that's the term the military uses information. things in very special places on that computer system. he had a clearance to get in there. now they spent thousands of dollars on clearances. they don't take them away lightly. if they start that formal proceeding, which we do not know if they did, he would have the right of due process, the right of appeal. there is another way they could have gone. they could have simply cut off his access, saying you can't get, you can't do this kind of work anymore but what we know is he was able to download tens of thousands of classified documents. >> a shocking story. i know we'll be getting more. barbara, thanks. barbara by the way has an amazing story coming up later here in the situation room about wounded warriors. she flew with them from kabul back to the united states. the first of the three-part
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series airing today here in "the situation room." you'll want to see this. very moving report. a second house democrat and member of the congressional black caucus is now facing a trial before the ethics committee. congresswoman maxine waters of california is a ten-term house veteran and a senior member of the financial services committee. our congressional correspondent is here working the story for us. what does this say? what's going on right now? >> it's really interesting, wolf. maxine waters called then secretary henry paulson back in september of 2008 to get a meeting with treasury officials for the national bankers associati association. this is a group that represents more than a hundred minority owned banks. she wanted this meeting because of course this was in the middle of the financial crisis and these banks they wanted federal assistance. this all started because the nba, this group called waters after failing to get a meeting with the treasury department on their own. with her help they were able to
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get one. but it was one united. this was then the biggest african-american owned bank that was the only bank represented at this meeting and its fate was very much the focus of this meeting. though waters was not at this meeting her husband, get this, owned a considerable amount of one united stock, almost a quarter million dollars. and he had just stepped down from its board of directors a few months before. so what happened here is the ethics committee came out today and they said there is reason to believe that she broke house rules governing conflicts of interest and also one that says a member of congress cannot advocate for a matter in which they have a personal financial interest. >> what is she saying about all this? >> she flatly denies this, wolf. she says this was not about this singular bank one united. she says this was about these numerous small minority owned banks. their survival was endangered she says. they were getting short shrift at the height of the financial crisis while all of the big banks got the attention is what she says. >> with congressman charlie
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rangel the former chairman of the ways and means committee now facing a trial in the house, now maxine waters. give us the political context what this means for democrats. >> obviously this is very tough for democrats. what you have is kind of a double whammy here because like charles rangel who is facing an ethics trial it is very much the same thing here. sources familiar with this process say that maxine waters insisted on having her day in court. that she refused to negotiate a settlement. and of course as you have these things going on in parallel, it is a nightmare for democrats politically. these ethics trials are very rare. they are public spectacles. kind of media circuses. the last one was in 2002. and this of course is the last thing democrats want to deal with as they try to minimize their losses in november. >> political fallout could be severe. we'll watch this very, very closely. thanks very much for that. it sparked a huge controversy during the presidential campaign. now the possibility of a meeting between president obama and the
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iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad is being raised again this time by ahmadinejad. i'll talk to a top obama adviser and also get insight from david gergen. plus, top democrats are no shows at a fundraiser headlined by the president of the united states himself. what should he do to help his party? our senior political analyst gloria borger is standing by for that. m going to go there. [ female announcer ] at aarp we believe you're never done growing. i want to fall in love again. [ female announcer ] discover the best of what's next at aarp.org.
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viewers. jack cafferty is back with the cafferty file fresh from a little vacation and good r & r i hope. >> yeah. i'm an old man. i need my rest. you were away too weren't you? >> i need rest toonchts suzanne malveaux had the burden of this entire telethon on her tiny shoulders for a week dan a great job. they may not want us back. it's the media's fault or at least that is where politicians like to lay the blame for almost anything that goes wrong. enter sarah palin the former half-term alaska governor, blaming her poor approval ratings among independents on, you guessed it, the media. palin told the f word network where she is a paid commentator that, quote, i don't blame people for not really knowing what i stand for or what my record is because if i believed everything i read or heard in the media i wouldn't like me either unquote. it makes you want to react like that duck in the aflac commercials when he walks out of the barber shop after listening to yogi beara.
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palin didn't want to talk about what she refers to as fickle polls probably because recent polling shows that while palin remains popular with a small conservative part of the republican base, most of the rest of america doesn't like her. she gets an unfavorable rating from majorities of democrats, independents, people in urban and suburban areas along with those in the northeast, the midwest, and in the west. which makes it kind of tough to build a coalition. you know what i mean? so what about 2012? palin insists that's not where her focus is right now. meanwhile, palin's stepping into the immigration debate saying that arizona's governor, a woman, jan brewer, quote, has the cahones that our president does not unquote when it comes to securing the country's borders. palin's blasting president obama for suing arizona to block its controversial new law while not going after sanctuary cities that harbor illegal aliens. like our federal government,
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refused to enforce the immigration laws. i actually agree with sarah palin on that point. as for the economy palin says it's idiotic to consider letting the bush tax cuts for wealthier americans expire in the current economic climate. here's the question. are sarah palin's low approval ratings the media's fault? go to cnn.com/cafferty file and post a comment on my blog. it's like getting an early christmas present. come back from vacation and find out sarah palin said something else that's worth noting. >> i know. i knew you would enjoy that. >> have you seen that aflac commercial? where the duck comes out of the barber shop? >> yes i have. good stuff. >> yeah. >> all right. stand by, jack. other news, the iranian president, get this, mahmoud ahmadinejad, will be in new york in september to attend the united nations general assembly. usually comes for that. it is now raising some speculation about a possible meeting with president obama. in fact, ahmadinejad says he wants to meet one-on-one with president obama when he's in new
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york. it was candidate obama who himself opened the door to such a meeting with ahmadinejad during a cnn youtube debate back in 2007. listen to this. >> would you be willing to meet separately without precondition during the first year of your administration in washington or anywhere else with the leaders of iran, syria, venezuela, cuba, and north korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries? >> i would. and the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration is ridiculous. one of the first things that i would do in terms of moving a diplomatic effort in the region forward is to send a signal that we need to talk to iran and syria because they're going to have responsibilities if iraq collapses. >> let's bring in our senior political analyst david gergen to talk about this. the president of iran says i'm
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ready to meet one-on-one in new york with president obama. does this put president obama in an awkward position given what he said at that cnn youtube debate three years ago? >> not at all, wolf. three years ago the president was hopeful that there might be progress by reaching out to iran, having talks, you know. here we are almost three years later. there's been no progress through the talks. we've had to slap on new sanctions. there is a real question of whether those are going to work. i don't think he needs to sit down with the president ahmadinejad. what the last thing we need right now, are more theatrics and talking with iranians. what we need is action on their part to convince us they're serious about not building a nuclear weapon. i do think, wolf, he might talk to a couple other things, though. i think he needs to talk to americans about what's coming so that they're prepared for some very tough choices. >> when you say what's coming, what's coming where? >> well, it's pretty clear that
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we're on a path right now unless something dramatic happens for the iranians either to acquire a nuclear weapon or to have the capacity to build a nuclear weapon rapidly. we don't know whether that's going to happen, it's not likely to happen in the next year, year and a half, two years, that is a good possibility. at that point we're going to face extraordinarily difficult decisions about whether to live with it or to take it out, take out that capability militarily. we're going to need, the president will need not only american support but it will be very important for him to build support in europe and elsewhere for maintaining his options. those options are going to get foreclosed on him and he is not going to have any leverage. he needs to be doing some talking about iran. it's a good thing to be talking about iraq today. it is a very good thing to be talking about afghanistan. but iran is a critical piece of this. bob gates, defense secretary, says the toughest problem we faced since he entered government 40 years ago. >> we'll be pressing the chief of staff at the national security council on this
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specific issue of iran, a potential meeting between the president and ahmadinejad. that's coming up at the bottom of the hour, david. i think you'll be interested to hear what this key player in all of this has to say. thanks very much. >> he is very close to the president too as you know. didn't the president look a lot longer by the way? >> yes, he does. >> three years is a lifetime when you're president of the united states obviously. >> absolutely. >> he has aged. that's quite obvious. thanks very much. a desperate man hunt now under way for two convicted killers who escaped from prison. they're considered armed and dangerous. we'll have the latest, coming up. it could be the perfect time to buy that new condo. some are going for a lot less. in fact, some are going for less than the cost of a car. stay with us.
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lisa sylvester is monitoring some of the other top stories in the situation room right now. what's going on? >> hi there, wolf. welcome back by the way. authorities are on the hunt for two of three convicted killers who escaped from an arizona prison. the men who were discovered missing friday are allegedly with a female accomplice. they're considered armed and dangerous and are believed to be driving a 2002 silver volkswagen jetta. the third escapee was captured yesterday and is being held in colorado. three passengers are believed to be dead after a fiery plane crash at the nollie national park in alaska. the crash sparked a one-acre blaze on the ground. three people were reportedly
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aboard the flight. the national transportation safety board is investigating the cause of the accident. the cnn affiliate is reporting that five of six sky divers are out of the hospital after surviving this plane crash in new york state. the plane, which was carrying members of a sky diving club, crashed shortly after takeoff yesterday. most of those hospitalized sustained minor injuries. one passenger, though, remains in critical condition. and if you are in the market for a condo, well, it could be the perfect time to buy especially with some now going for less than the cost of a new car. the national association of realtors estimates condo prices have fallen about 25% since 2007 due to the housing bust. as a result, cities across the country have started listing dozens of homes for as little as $25,000. so now is the time to snatch up those bargains, wolf. >> but always check the monthly fee. how much the condo association wants to stay there because that could be expensive. >> you got that right.
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those condo fees can be something else. >> thanks very much. will president obama meet with the iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad when he comes to new york in september? i'll ask a top obama adviser. the national security council chief of staff. plus, why one country is poised to take drastic action. get this, with a total ban on blackberries.
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you're in "the situation room." happening now the state of arizona now embroiled in a bitter fight with the courts over its controversial new immigration law. as tensions grow is another state now poised to follow in its foot steps? new information coming in. plus a cnn exclusive. our own barbara starr goes where no journalist has gone before. you're going to see up close the chilling journey wounded troops take to get out of the war zone. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're now less than a month away from a major milestone in the war in iraq. a massive drawdown of u.s. combat troops in preparation for the entire american military force leaving iraq by the end of next year. but in a conflict where so much has gone wrong, is the obama administration prepared to change that if necessary? i tukd about that and much mo--
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that and much more with dennis mcdonough. the "new york times" recently described him this way. when it comes to national security mr. obama's inner circle is so tight it largely consists of mr. mcdonough, a 40-year-old from minnesota, who is unknown to most americans, but who is so close to the president that his colleagues, including his superiors, often will not make a move on big issues without checking with him first. joining us now from the white house, the chief of staff at the national security council, dennis mcdonough. thanks very much for coming in. >> thanks for having me, wolf. always good to be with you. >> just want to be precise. we will be down to 50,000 u.s. troops in iraq by the end of this month, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> and all u.s. troops the remaining 50,000 will be out of iraq by the end of next year, is that correct? >> also correct. >> what would change that? if for example there is a collapse of the iraqi government, there is no new government yet now, what would change that possibility of
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keeping troops beyond the end of next year? >> i'm not going to get into hypotheticals wolf. this is an agreement that was hammered out by the bush administration and the democratically elected government of iraq that would transition the forces out of the country bite end y the end of n we're. we think that given politics is breaking out in iraq and iraq has fully trained security forces who themselves have been in the lead really in many places throughout iraq since the summer of last year, we believe that they're making exactly the kind of progress that the bush administration and the democratic elected government there anticipated. we think we're ontrack a lot of iraqis have told me they are deeply worried about the fact that they can't form a new government. this seems to be a stalemate. how worried are you? >> we always anticipated an extended period of time to form this government. if you look back over the experience of iraq back in 2005 it took six months. so we're still within that window. we think that it's obviously an
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important development. we're following it closely. but we also think it's important that we've seen now politics break out in the country there. the vice president has said. so we think these disagreements and so forth are being worked out in a political, democratic process and we think that's all to the good. >> how worried are you that a shiite led government in iraq will further enhance its relationship with the shiite led regime in iran? >> you know, wolf, of the many things i worry about that's not one of them. we've seen obviously that a strong and independent iraq has formed itself. you see shia on the ground in iraq who are very uncomfortable with iranian interference. so the fact is that the iraqis have their own vision for their future. i think it's not a vision that's driven by sectarian differences as some neighbors would like to see happen. so we feel pretty good about the politics, the political process playing out there and we'll see
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how it unfolds in the next couple weeks. >> president ahmadinejad of iran says he wants to meet one-on-one with president obama in new york in september when he's there for the united nations general assembly. is the president ready to meet with ahmadinejad one-on-one? >> you know, wolf, i'm not sure the president has even seen that report and i think this is the first time i've heard of it myself but here is what we do know. now over five successive u.n. security council resolutions, strong resolutions from the united nations and strong law passed by congress, the international community is saying to the iranians they have to live up to their responsibilities to come clean on what is clearly an inappropriate and illegal nuclear program. obviously we know what president ahmadinejad and the iranians could do to live up to their obligations. it is spelled out right there in the u.n. security council resolutions. we'll see how that plays out. i'm not jumping ahead to the end
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of september just yet. >> it sparked what happened what president ahmadinejad said. you remember the youtube debate then candidate obama said he'd be ready to meet without any preconditions with ahmadinejad and other world leaders. is president obama still committed to that? >> you know, president obama did in your debate, wolf, i remember it very clearly, make that point, and you have seen him over the course of two years unfold a strategy that follows, tracks exactly very closely to what he laid out in that national debate with the american people and with his opponents. and bottom line is that that strategy has succeeded. the iranian government is more isolated than it's been in a long time including with strong support to the international community efforts from the russians and from the chinese. the iranians internally frankly are more divided than they've been in a long time and that's a function frankly of our ability to make clear that it's they who are standing in front in the way of the iranian people's aspirations and not the united states government. you're seeing the impact of those sanctions, too, wolf, seeing it in the bazaars
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throughout iran and it is frankly the iranian government that is standing in the way of a strong middle class in iran getting to the dreams and hopes they all have for their families. >> we'll move on, sort of button it down. are you leaving open the possibility of a obama/ahmadinejad meeting in new york in september? >> you know, wolf, i'm not jumping ahead, ai'm just learnig about it on your show. we'll be continuing to unfold this strategy that has been unfolded very successfully by the administration and our international allies and partners over the course of these last 20 months so we'll continue to do it but i also know the iranians understand full well what they need to do and that means they have to stop that illicit nuclear program. >> leon panetta the cia director recently said there were only between 50 and 100 al qaeda fighters left in afghanistan. does the united states really need 100,000 troops in afghanistan to find 50 or 100 al
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qaeda fighters? >> well, i think al qaeda as you know, wolf, is very active in that region generally. afghanistan and pakistan. and we've been working very closely with our pakistani partners as well as our afghan partners and so you i think are very familiar, wolf, as is al qaeda with the pressure that they're under be that in afghanistan, pakistan, yemen, east africa, southeast asia, frankly we'll take the fight to them wherever they are. >> so in other words moving large numbers of troops into those other countries as well as -- is that what you're saying? >> what i'm saying is we're doing exactly what we said we'll do which is we'll take the fight to al qaeda wherever they are partnering with our friends and allies and making sure they can't ply their plot and trade to attack and kill americans. >> denis mcdonough the chief of staff of the national security council, thanks very much. >> thank you, wolf. always good to be with you. congratulations on five years. >> thank you. five years here in "the situation room" our situation room, not the white house
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situation room. this week will mark our fifth anniversary of the cnn "situation room." very happy about that. which states are the most conservative and which are the most liberal? the new survey is revealing the reddest and bluest parts of the country and we have that for you. plus president obama heads to atlanta to raise money for fellow democrats but where are the candidates? the details coming up.
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a new gallup survey names wyoming and mississippi the two most conservative states in the country. the survey says 53% of the residents in those states identify themselves as conservatives rather than moderates or liberals. utah is close behind with 51%. as for the most liberal states in the country the survey ranks the district of columbia which is not a state at the top with 42% followed by rhode island, which is a state, at 32%. connecticut and vermont are tied for third with 29%. president obama was the headliner at a democratic fundraiser in atlanta today but some of the state's top democrats were not there including roy barnes, the current democratic nominee for governor. also not showing up, some congressional lawmakers up for re-election in a state where the president has a relatively low approval rating. let's talk about it with our senior political analyst gloria borger here in "the situation room." a lot of elected officials rode the coat tails of president obama only a couple years ago.
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can they still do that now? >> no. absolutely not. and the folks in the white house are going to be the first to tell you that. in a state for example like california where the president remains popular, he's going to go out and help senate -- senator barbara boxer who is running for re-election because he can really do her some good. but in a state like georgia for example you just spoke about it where a majority of the voters disapprove of the president, he can't help as much. in fact, if you're candidate in one of those states right now as a democrat what you've got to do, i was talking to some democratic pollsters today, is not ride on his coat tails but actually show your independence and say, sometimes i supported him. sometimes i didn't. but i am my own person. >> the president can certainly help in some states but not necessarily in others. >> right. >> now the democrats at least some democrats behind the scenes have been complaining about the white house. >> oh, yeah. >> there seems to be an effort now to try to coordinate a little better. >> there's kind of a truce right now because early on folks on capitol hill were worried that
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president obama was going to run an antiincumbent campaign, wolf, and run against all incumbents which means democrats as well. now he is not. he is turning it into a choice election which is either go with the democrats or go backwards if you vote for republicans. now, it's hard to see realistically how a mid-term election is anything other than a referendum on the man in power but they're going to try that. he is still going to be fundraiser in chief and the democratic national committee is committing $20 million to house and senate campaigns. >> that is critically important. obviously money talks. what is the most important thing the president needs to do to help democrats? >> the mobilization of what pollsters call obama's surge voters. and those are the base voters that came out for him in 2008 and made a difference. and so he is going to go out and campaign for those voters. the dnc again spending another $30 million on getting out the vote and president obama will be
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saying, the states in this election are exactly the same as the stakes were in the last election. that's what he's going to try and do to get them out and vote for democrats. they're disappointed though so we'll have to see. >> less than a hundred days. there is still some time. >> there is. >> some close races. >> anything can happen. >> of course. thank you very much. that's why we cover politics. are african-americans in congress held to a different standard? ethical questions surrounding some black politicians are raising new concerns about race. we'll talk about that and more in our strategy session.
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we'll get to our strategy session. joining us are two cnn political
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contributors, donna brazille and bill bennett will be joining us in a moment. but donna, i don't know if you saw that story in politico today. there was a story, ethics cases raise racial questions. i'll read a line to you about the maxine waters/charlie rangel issue. the question of whether black lawmakers are being singled out for scrutiny has been simmering throughout the 111th congress with the office of congressional ethics a focal point of the concerns. at one point early this year all eight lawmakers under formal investigation by the house ethics committee including rangel and waters were black democrats. are you among those like one unnamed member of the cbc, the congressional black caucus, who told politico he thinks there is a double standard for african-american lawmakers? >> wolf, i do believe that under the leadership of speaker pelosi and the house democrats that there are now new tough standards that will hold all
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members accountable, black, white, hispanic, asian, others. the point is i think that barbara lee last week the chair of the congressional black caucus said it best. she said that we should allow these members whether charlie rangel, maxine waters, or others to have an opportunity to have their aisle gatiens answer lleg respond to these charges. who knows? we know earlier this year a congressman was under investigation and has been cleared. let's give these lawmakers an opportunity to have their cases heard before the ethics committee. >> you don't care about the political fallout if there are two trials let's say in september involving these two members of congress both democrats, you don't think that necessarily is a big deal, the fallout? it's more important that they have their day in court? >> we shouldn't allow political expediency to be the rule or standard that guides our discussion. we should assume these lawmakers are innocent until proven guilty. i don't care who they are.
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senator ensign is under investigation. there are republican lawmakers under investigation. we should allow these lawmakers, i know it's not the right time. timing is everything in politics, but i also believe that truth -- if these lawmakers are able to prove they are innocent of these allegations then give them an opportunity to clear their names. i know personally charlie rangel. i know personally maxine waters. i know them to hold very high standards not just for themselves but their staff and others and i would hope they would have an opportunity like the other lawmakers to clear their names and present their cases to the ethics committee. >> bill bennett is on the phone with us. what do you think? do you think charlie rangel and maxine waters should basically accept some sort of censure or reprimand and give up their own day in court or let them go forward and if they didn't do anything wrong prove it? >> well, that is really their decision. it's like a plea bargain. charlie rangel wants to go ahead. looks like maxine waters does
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too. i know charlie rangel very well as well. he was chairman of my committee when i was drug czar. he wants to fight. what i found odd, wolf, was the president was talking about charlie rangel in the past tense. said he has served this country well and so on as if wre done. obviously the president would like this done but it's not. he wants to have his hearing. they have to make the case and prove it. >> were you a little uncomfortable donna with what the president said in that cbs interview where he seemed to be referring to charlie rangel as somebody in the past tense and basically saying you know what? get over it, move on? >> well, he also said that charlie rangel has had a very good career and should go out in dignity. i can tell you as a daughter of a korean veteran who is also 80 years old you cannot tell them to sit down and shut up. they will fight. >> let me move on to another issue, bill. this senator kyl and a bunch of other largely republicans are saying maybe we should take another look at the 14th amendment which stipulates
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anyone born in the united states is automatically a u.s. citizen including those whose parents may be here illegally. do you think it's time to take a look at that? >> no. they're not saying let's take another look at the 14th amendment. i saw this on huffington post and cbs and this is really a slander. they're saying let's take a look at the phrase in the 14th amendment, the phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof." let's have hearings on what that means because of the present situation where you have thousands, hundreds of thousands of illegals coming in having children and does the constitution protect those children? this has been an issue in constitutional law for a hundred years. it is no more calling for the repeal of the 14th amendment than to have hearings on what the meaning of cruel and unusual punishment is as a call for the repeal of the eighth amendment. this is the clarification of a phrase which scholars have wrestled with for a long time and it is an entirely appropriate inquiry. >> right now if you're born in the united states and your parents are illegal immigrants, you are still an automatic u.s.
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citizen. >> that's the way the courts have interpreted it but there are a number of scholars who have written about this saying this is not what was intended. you know the diplomats born in the neighborhoods in which we live in washington, d.c., the children of diplomats, are not citizens of the united states because they're not subject to the jurisdiction thereof. so there are complications and questions. did the framers of the constitution intend for widespread illegality of people coming to this country in massive numbers and then giving birth to those children to be automatically become citizens? i think it's a fair and honest question. >> we'll continue to watch this debate. bill bennett, donna brazile, guys, thank you. are sarah palin's low approval ratings the media's fault? jack cafferty is coming up with your e-mail. also details of a looming blackberry ban. one country about to pull the plug entirely. at the top of the hour our cnn exclusive. pentagon correspondent barbara
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starr correspondent barbara starr follows the journey home with wounded american warriors. this is a gripping report you won't see anywhere else. !e!e!e!e
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are sarah palin's i low approval ratings the media's fault as she suggests they are? ron in indiana says the urban dictionary defines ditz as a superficially dumb valley chick with no common sense whatsoever. usually the white race, rich and pretty. often used as words such as, like, oh, my gosh, oh, my goodness, and dude.
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i would say sarah's low approval rating is due to her being a ditz and nothing more. the media had nothing to do with it. jackson writes from georgia, sure, if documenting her incoherent, buzz word and dog-whistling-filled rambling count as fault, then surely the media is at fault. i can't throw a dart at a newspaper without hitting a story about what the maverick pit bull with lipstick grizzly mom straight shooter is having for breakfast. charles from new jersey write, yes, because without the media she could appear to be whatever her handlers and coaches deem necessary instead of the functioning lunatic she is. fundamentalists christians make scary politicians which is why the first amendment chopped them off at the knees rather than risk thee democratic sedition. >> you have to give her credit for having absolutely no shame
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whatsoev whatsoever. everyone understands she's milking her 15 mochbs fame. -- minutes of fame. and don in colorado says jack, every time you mention her name, your eyes bug out, your face gets purple and tiny bits of foam appear on your lips. we watch you and fear her instincti instinctively. if you want to read more on the subject, got a lot of e-mail on sarah. i wiped the foam off right before i came. >> i don't see much foam. text messages and the internet in one country will be cut off. we'll have the details of what what this country is planning on doing. plus, wounded americans air lifted from harm's way. and coming home in as little as 48 hours. we'll go along on the journey.
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amongst the most secure of these types of mobile devices. so much so that the uae is worried it's not able to track security threats that might be transmitted via blackberry. and the uae is not alone. there are other country, saudi arabia and bahrain who have also expressed some of the same concerns. >> the good evening of modern technology at your fingertips. that all goes away for visitors and residents in the united arab emirates come october, not welcome news. >> oh, that would be a disaster for me. i'm using my blackberry 12 hours a day. or 24 hours a day, at least. >> reporter: the country's telecommunication regulatory authority banned the mobile device services, citing national security concerns. in an online post posting the uae government says blackberry suspension will remain in place until, quote, blackberry applications are in full compliance with uae regulations. the blackberry is unique from other smart phones. it's made by canadian company research in motion, or r.i.m.,
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which uses its own special incription and network of secure operation centers around the world. telecom experts say that makes it secure enough for use by president barack obama and the u.s. military. >> blackberry is one of the most secure system. it is so secure that nobody can break the security level of blackberry. >> reporter: the conservative uae says it worries that airtight system makes it harder to monitor security threats. but the blackberry ban, if it takes effect will impact business and tourists in some high profile places. >> a lot of people go to the uae to do business. it's a great environment to do business and people come from all over asia and the arab world and africa and europe to do business in the uae, largely in dubai, but also in abu dabai. it's a black eye for blackberry and the uae that they can't work
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out some way to keep people from using blackberries for terrorism. >> r.i.m. respects both the regulatory requirements of government and the security and privacy needs of corporations and consumers. none of this, though, is finalized. the ban doesn't take effect until october 11. and the company and uae are in active discussions to try to find some type of middle ground. r.i.m. says it won't disclose any specifics of their regulatory discussions. wolf? >> all right, lisa, thank you. >> a cnn exclusive. as american casualties grow in afghanistan, we're about to take you inside an air force evacuation mission, flying into the car zone, picking up the wounded and flying them home. stand by. is this man the new bin laden?
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he's a radical cleric whose calls for a holy war against the united states has made him an internet sensation. plus he's an american. and we're awaiting word to plug the ruptured gulf well forever. but even if it succeeds, will the gulf coast face lasting effects for the chemicals used to break up the oil slick? i'm wolf blitzer. you' you're in "the situation room." president obama today delivered a major speech giving a progress report on two bloody wars. the president says america is winding down its combat role in iraq, noting the mission should end on schedule this month. the combat mission. but he's depending his decision to step up the military commitment in afghanistan where he says u.s. forces are now taking the fight to the insurgents. the president spoke to the disabled veterans convention in
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atlanta. listen to this. >> i want to remind everyone, it was afghanistan where al qaeda plotted and trained to murder 3,000 innocent people on 9/11. it is after dwan stan and the tribal regions of pakistan where terrorists have launched other attacks against us and our allies. and if afghanistan were to be engulfed by an even wider insurgency, al qaeda and its terrorists affiliates would have even more space to plan their next attack. and as president of the united states, i refuse to let that happen. it's important that the american people know that we are making progress and we are focused on goals that are clear and achievable. on the many ill tear front, nearly all the additional forces that i ordered to afghanistan are now in place. along with our afghan and international partner, we are going on the offensive against the taliban. targeting their leaders,
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challenging them and n regions where they had free reign and training afghan national security forces. because in this region and beyond, we will tolerate no safe haven for al qaeda and their extremist allies. we will disrupt, we will dismantle, and we will ultimately defeat al qaeda. >> 66 american troops died in afghanistan last month. a new record for the war. and the growing u.s. commitment has meant a growing toll of wounded. cnn was given an exclusive opportunity to join a u.s. evacuation mission as it flew into afghanistan, pick up the wounded and took them out of harm's way. here's cnn correspondent barbara starr. >> it's before dawn in the trauma bay at bagram air base in afghanist afghanistan. another shoulder wounded in the fighting down south. surgeons, nurses doing everything they can. >> one, two, three. >> reporter: the journey home starts here.
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in vietnam, it could take weeks, but now wounded can be home in days. cnn was granted exclusive access to see the medical care that makes it possible into injured troops. some, hours off the frontline. in the hospital hallway, army specialist james dennis is being shipped home after being in three attacks in three weeks. he had already been here before. he survived two roadside bomb attacks in the same day, and then a coup of days ago -- >> indirect fire. i was hit by a mortar. >> reporter: but still smiling. >> i'm good right now. they gave me some medicine. >> dennis ordered junior troops under fire to run for safety. he couldn't get away in time. >> i didn't even get to start running. and i guess it knocked me out because i remember pushing myself up off the ground and had blood all over me.
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and then they med evaced me. >> reporter: dennis praises the doctors and nurses. >> these people are awesome. i mean, they do their job. i respect these guys a lot. >> a last emotional hug from the trauma doc, captain joshua miller. >> i saw him over there in that wheelchair and i just took another look at him and said what are you doing here again? and sure enough, he had suffered enough explosion injury. >> the doors have just shut on then air medical evacuation flight here in bagram, afghanistan. the wounded have already been loaded. you can see that medical staff is already taking care of them, even before we take off. we are about to go on an eight-hour flight back to germany. these troops are going to the medical sent efor further
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treatment. >> reporter: matthew cain, a medic, was on patrol helping other wounded when he was hit hit. >> did it protect you, your vest? >> it was about one inch right under it. it was right in the bladder. >> reporter: badly wounded, he told his buddies what to do. >> right away, i just went on to, just, you know, talk them through what we needed to do. and it went really, really smoothly. then a medic went to help out and he helped out, too. . >> reporter: now others are tending to him. he gets relief for his pain. the specialist, finally under the watchful eye of his nurse. easing the pain and devastation can be tough. . >> just woke new a fright. just couldn't remember what was going on where they were. and for me, that was the best
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moment to be there for that patient, hold their hand and calm them down and let them know i'm here, you're okay. you're going home. and just seeing them relax. okay, i'm good. it's all good. >> reporter: for three-time purple heart specialist dennis now on the plane to germany, it is all good. >> you're going from bleeding to hugging your wife and daughters. there's a smile. >> it's going to be awesome, you know? when you're near death that close, i mean, i literally thought i was dead when that impact happened. i thought i was dead. you really don't know what you've got until it's almost gone. >> lift! lift. >> reporter: tomorrow, the next stop, germany. >> barbara, amazing, amazing reporting. what struck you most about this journey?
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>> well, wolf, you know, you can seat pain, the exhaustion on these young troops' faces. and they are all very young. the toll of wounded is growing. in month of july, there were 570 troops wounded in afghanistan. of course, that number is potentially good news because there's medical care that keeps them from dying of their wounds. but still over 500 a month now wounded, golf. >> yeah. that's a big number. give us a little preview of part two tomorrow. >> well, we're going to take you on the rest of this flight. we will go to germany and see what happens there. see the type s s of wounds they being treated for. part three will take you all the way hoim, back to the united states. you will continue to meet some amazing young tripe trips and the medical teams that take care of them. >> thank for doing this report. and part two tomorrow, part three on wednesday. we'll be watching.
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>> virginia's attorney general has now ruled that police in his state can, in fact, check the immigration status of people they stop. a member of the state legislature asked the state's attorney general about the impact in the old dominion. he responded that, quote, virginia law enforcements may, like arizona police officers, inquire into the immigration status of persons stopped or arrested. the arizona law did that. some say the opinion could expand current virginia law to allow immigration status checks for people stopped for mie tor
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traffic violations. it has one of the fastest growing populations of illegal immigrants. one county, prince william, passed a law that says law enforcement is to check the status of anyone arrested. it has been the subject of tremendous controversy. >> are we likely to see other states do their own version of the immigration law? arizona? >> virginia is already thinking of doing that. the judge did not completely shut the door on states passing immigration reform law. we'll see how this is implemented in the days and weeks ahead. thanks very much. we'll look at the controversy over chemicals used to treat the
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gulf oil spill. will their impact be felt long into the future? plus, we're waiting for a critical effort pumping heavy mud and possibly concrete into the well in the coming hours? can that kill this well for good? and is this guy right here, is he the new bin laden? an american cleric who's gained a worldwide following and notoriety for inciting holy war against the united states. progress for new york city cab drivers, like ossman ali is being able to carry people, who aren't carrying cash. meaning more convenience for passengers, and more business for cab drivers. all thanks to the ease and freedom of visa digital currency. now that's progress. visa. currency of progress.
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>> do you remember when nancy pelosi promised to drain the swamp when the democrats took the snous turns out some of her colleagues may be swimming in that very swamp. two senior democrats in the house of representatives are now facing possible ethics trials which is the last thing they need. long-time, and i mean long-time new york congressman charlie rangel has been formally charged with 13 counts of violating house ethics rules including not pay i payi payi paying tax on rental income in the dominican republic. president obama hopes he can end his career with dignity.
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while rangel has admitted to making mistakes, water admits she's done nothing wrong. these potential trials show that the ethics process is working. really? they're both still there. in 2006, the republicans ran into a series of scandals, including then senate majority leader tom delay and duke kung ham who i think is still in jail. in 1994, it was the democrats who lost the house amid allegations that top democrats including a guy from illinois were misusing funds from the house post office. anyway, he's the question. will ethics issues haunt the democrats come november?
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>> i remember he got into deep trouble for doing a whole bunch of thing, but i'm not exactly -- we'll check that and get back to you. do you got a few moments? >> yeah, go ahead. put your investigative unit right on it. this is an issue that has affected both democrats and republicans. >> they both screw their socks on and they're as crooked as they come. >> i remember a bunch of house members who got caught up in that. hours from now, bp should make an attempt to seal the blownout gulf well for good. the static kill well will involve pumping heavy dral
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drilling mud, possibly cement into the well. but even if it's permanently sealed, will the gulf of mexico face lasting effects from the chemicals used to break up ors by percent the oil. we found out for the last two weeks no dispersants have been used in the gulf. still, the amount used between april and july is eye-opening. more than a million gallon of chemical dispersant, total, more than 1.8 million gallons poured into the gulf to combat this spill. and there are new questions tonight about how safe this was and whether the government kept a close enough eye on how bp was using these chemicals. >> reporter: for roughly three
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months it was poured into the gulf, chemical dispersant that bp and coast guard officials called an effective tool in fighting the oil spill. congressman ed markey calls it carpet bombing of the gulf and said bp abused its permission to use the dispersant. >> bp for all intents and purposes sprayed just about every single day. and on some days, they did so in quantities which were far in excess of anything that reports that they were given to the coast guard indicated they were using. >> reporter: but markey said the coast guard was rubber stamping bp's actions, often letting the company use what he calls excessive amounts of d s odispe. from the end of may, if bp wanted to use the chemical, it had to ask the coast guard for a waiver, a waiver which markey said was granted almost indiscriminately, averaging one a day. and in a letter to thad allen, on many of these days, bp used
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more than double its new 6,000 gallon limit. asked by cnn about markey's charges, allen said he always consulted with the epa on giving bp permission on using dispersant, but his frustrations were clear. >> folks have to make decisions without complete information sometimes because we have never used dispersants at this level before. that was done and to the extent there's an issue about it i'm the national incident commander and i'm accountable. >> reporter: bp said it worked closely with allen's command and the epa. the company said it didn't hide anything and dispersants prevented a bigger disaster. >> these are all tradeoffs and one of the thins we didn't want to see happen was it reaching the shoreline. >> reporter: but what about damage below the surface? the epa now says the dispersants mixed with oil were no more toxic than the oil itself. and said there's no indication of wildlife sickened or killed by dispersants.
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but some say that doesn't give a food picture. >> do you think it's incorpor e incorporating into the food chain. >> it's get into things like crab larvae. that's important food for other fish. but there's also a stage before we get crab adults. >> we contacted an epa official before that. he disputes that. experts say we may not know for several years. ooh i know you spoke to the ceo of the company that makes the dispersants. what did he have to say? >> he says, you know, this is really a safe project. he has an agenda. he said this is less tox ix than dish soap and he's saying it has
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really dean lot to prevent massic amounts of oil from getting to the wet lands and the coast. he said overall it's been a net win for the environment, but this is really going to be in dispute for months, maybe years to come. >> thank you. let's get back to the effort to permanently plug the ruptured well. we may be only a few hours away from the mud-pumping operation known as static kill. what are we about to see? >> we're about to see what we were seeing before, top kill. all the oil was pouring out. the mud couldn't go down the well like they wanted it to. top kill mean wes start from the top and try to drive the mud down the well. bottom kill which is still to come, will be taking these new
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wells that they drill, these relief well, taking it down here and pumping stuff down here. they're going to try to do it both ways. oil was pouring out of the top of this well. >> down and up and through into the blowout preventer, there was too much force from the oil and the natural gas that was blowing out the top of this well. there was too much force for the mud to sink to the bottom and kill the oil. it just kept getting blown out. then they tried junk shot. that means they not only put mud, they just put a bunch of junk, literally. like rubber things like golf balls and things to try to plug up some of these holes so that all the oil just wasn't going up with the mud. that didn't work either.
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the tap was sucking oil up. well, that didn't get all the oil either because it was coming out the sides. so they took that off and now they finally have this good cap that has stopped the oil from going up. if there's no oil going up, there's no way this mud is going to blow out. it has no other choice. it's much heavier than oil, much heavier than water. it will stop the oil in its tracks by pushing down on the oil withal same force that the oil is trying to push up. when they're done with static kill, theoretically, you can take this top off and no oil would come out. i don't think they're going to do that. they're going to do the bottom kill and then v this thing finally done for good. >> yeah, we can only hope. then we can deal with the clean-up over the coming months and years. all right, chad. thanks very much. there's a new member, by the
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way, of the bp team. he's a similar face. no stranger to disaster. we're talking about the clinton fema chief james lee witt. he's here in the situation room. stand by. !e!e!e!e!e!e!e!e!e!e!ee
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>> lice is a, what's going on? >> mahmoud ahmadinejad is offering once again to hold one-on-one talks with president obama.
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ahmadinejad expects to be in new york in september. today, he proposed talks in tehran during a speech attacking zionists, a term he typically uses when speaking of israel. the white house has not commented on today's speech. roughly 500 towns are under a state of emergency because of hundreds of wildfires sweeping through western russia. dozens of people are dead. almost 450 square miles are on fire. a russian emergency services official says most of the fires were started accidentally. heat and drought have made russia especially vulnerable. and a rally on wall street due to better than expected economic reports today. by days' end, the dow jones industrial average had gained 208 points to close at 10,674. the nasdaq posted a 1.8% gain of 41 points and the standard & poor's 500 index was up more than 2%. so good day for the markets.
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>> the white house did comment on the ahmadinejad proposal to meet with president obama in the last hour. we had an interview with the chief of staff at the national security council. i asked him about ahmadinejad's proposal and he said, you know what, not leaving it open, i' not closing it. we have to study it. we're going to discuss it and get it back to you. but he did comment. >> glad for that correction. thanks, wolf. come up, he vowed to bring america to its knees. one terrorist at a time. but he's an american-born terrorist, born in the united states. even went to college in colorado. could he be, though, the next bin bin? and the oil well could be sealed for good, if everything goes according to planned. that's a big if. what happens next? my interview coming up with a man in charge of bp's oil recovery. and get this year's colors up on the wall...this year. let's get better prices... and better paint. let's break out the drop cloths,
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tell us what your job is for bp right now? >> well, i was down in alabama -- i'm sorry, biloxi, mississippi, last week with bob dudley and also new orleans. what they've tasked us to do is work with the states and local government, work with the chamber of commerce and the business communities and to develop a long-term recovery plan from the local up to the state all the way along the gulf. and our hope is that we can get this plan right. it's got to be right. and we will be there listening and working with them economically as well as environmentally. >> so you've been hired -- your company, and you yourself have been hired by bp to do this, is that right? >> yes. >> when you say long-term, define long-term. how long of a term are we talking about? your involvement and the involvement of bp in helping these communities? >> well, as mr. dudley said last
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week in biloxi, we will be here until we have this finished. and we, of course, will be there as long as they need us to get this done. and hopefully that we will make a difference and help them to -- people in these communities that's been impacted to understand that bp is not going anywhere. and we will be there as long as the need is there to help them in this long-term recovery. >> help them with money? is that the most important thing they're trying to do? >> i think they're trying to let people know they're not going anywhere. they are there, and i know bob dudley has commitmented to be there as long as it took. and asked us to develop this long-term recovery plan, and it's really important to get this done to focus in the areas of impact, not only financially, but environmentally, and help them to put together a plan that will address each of these issues for the long-term. >> all right, let me read to you what congressman ed markey, a man you know, a democrat of massachusetts said on saturday.
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bp carpet bombed the ocean with these chemicals. we're talking about the dispersants and the coast guard allowed them to do it. either bp was lying to congress or to the coast guard about how much dispersants they were shooting on to the ocean. is it going to be your job to deal with the long-term potential negative consequences of all these poisonous chemicals seeping into the gulf of mexico? >> i'm not sure about that, but we will be dealing with the environmental impact as mart of this long-term recovery. you know, it's -- my understanding is that mr. allen and epa work very closely together and with bp. but we will be looking at all of the recovery efforts. >> we know that kenneth feinberg is in charge of distributing the claims and there could be $20 billion as bp is setting aside in this escrow account. the money you're going to be giving communities is that separate from that $20 billion? does that come elsewhere from
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bp's financial status? >> well, we're not giving money. we're developing a plan that would be associated with where money would be spent. and also, we may be helping some local governments with some claims that have been outstanding that need to be looked at and see what the documentation is as well. >> what's your biggest concern right now about the clean-up process for communities along the gulf of mexico? >> welt, i think everybody is concerned. you know, the gulf of mexico is very important to our nation as a whole. and the food sources there. and we just want to make sure with bp that we get this right. and that we have a plan in place that will help them to know that they can recover, and, you know, you and i have seen this many times in disasters across the country. a lot of communities go through some really serious pain and anguish and suffering. and hopefully, the long-term recovery plan will help them minimize that. it is our hope.
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>> james lee witt, good luck. a lot of folks are going to be counting on your help. thanks for coming in. is he the new bin laden? he's a radical cleric. he has sermons that encourage holy war, and he just happens to be a united states citizen.
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pack stab's government says
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up to 5800 people may have been killed in floods that devastated the northwest. 100,000 people have already been hit with diseases due to lack of clean water. in some areas, entire villages were swept away. a massive rescue and relief operation has been hampered as washed out bridges have left highways severed. helicopters are dropping desperately needed food and fresh watter. the u.s. has delivered tens of thousands of meals, and will bring in rescue boats, prefabricated bridges and water filtration units. before and after satellite images show much higher water levels. patches of blue indicate flooding. more rain fell on pakistan today and enhanced monsoon activity is forecast over the next two weeks. we wish only good luck to all those folks in pakistan suffering right now. he's been called the new bin laden. a radical cleric whose sermons calling for holy war have won him a fervent following around the world. and the chief target of his
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venom is the country where he was born and educated. we're talking about the united states of america. we take a look at a man viewed by u.s. authorities as very dangerous. >> that's what they're doing today. they're plotting to kill this religion. >> reporter: this american foez po poses a threat to the united states, unlike any other. >> i believe he reptd rept rep heir aapar rent. >> he's vowed to bring an army of lone wolf insurgents. >> he's continuing the doctrine that people like osama bin laden started. >> his credentials as an american citizen give him a unique authority among social media savvy wannabe jihadis.
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>> and i eventually came to the conclusion of jihad is binding upon myself just as it is upon every other able muslim. >> reporter: counterterrorism expert sajjan gohel. >> he's preying on these young people, encouraging them to go off to far away lands which they have no real relationship with, to link up with terrorist outfits. >> the simple answer is america will k not and will not win. >> reporter: a spiritual guide ideologically condoning violent acts this youtube jihadist has inspired dozens of young men. in the last few years alleged plotters include the times square bomber, the young vooi nigerian accused of trying to blow up a jetliner over detroit. the alleged ft. hood american s jihad and others. he spent his teen years in yemen
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before returning to study in the united states. he was 19 years old when he came here to colorado state university to study engineering. he had received a $20,000 federal grant, courtesy of u.s. taxpayers. applying for his student visa to come here, he lied and told authorities he was born in yemen, not here in the united states. years later, that lie almost got him arrested. he was investigated for passport fraud following 9/11, but the arrest warrant was rescinded and he left north america 2002, never to return. >> reporter: these two were good friends, taking the same classes and sharing a love of islam. >> we were just combatting stereotypes and misunderstanding and ignorance. >> reporter: but there was another side to the young man, rooted in the year he is spent
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in yemen, osama bin laden's ancestral homeland. >> i think he was proud of the fact that he had been to afghanistan and learned something about, you know, the mujahidin and maybe trained a little bit. >> reporter: trained to fight soviets in a guerrilla war bank roled by the united states. it's unclear whether that training spark alaki's radical path. however, his studies in leadership and human nature are giving him tools to develop a very powerful weapon. the message of global jihad online where he's even had a facebook page. >> we're going to talk more about this with our national security contributor fran townsend. she's standing by. and later, sarah palin takes a swipe at president obama. critics are already calling her comments vulgar. stick around. the freeways, all right? i don't want you going out on those yet. and leave your phone in your purse, i don't want you texting.
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an american cleric who calls for holy war against the united states, is he the next bin laden? let's go to a closer look. joining us is our national security analyst, president george w. bush's homeland security adviser. she also served in the clinton justice department. she's currently an external board adviser to both the cia and the homeland security department. simple question, alaki, is he the next bin lad season in. >> i don't think so. it gives him far too much credit. because he can speak english, he
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can speak to werners with a great deal of authority. some comes from his time here to that he's studied and praeched both here and in afghanistan. >> the last three terrorist at the same times here in the united states, the ft. hood massacre, if you will, and we just saw in the piece, the christmas day bomber, the airline bomber in detroit, the times square bomber, they all had this connection with al-awlaki. >> that's right. and all three of them spoke fluent english. all had time in the west or were from the west. all of these guys have that in common. and that's really awlaki's field. that's the audience he preaches to and recruits and inspires. make no mistake. he can dangerous for that reason. but he's not clearing all operations. >> he's somewhere we believe in yemen. he's a united states citizen. is he a target for assassination
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by the united states? >> this is a topic and an issue which has been hotly debated insied inside the national security community. no one will say if he's on a predator drone target list, but everyone is sure some of his statute is a prime target for such a list, and there are many of those inside the national security community that suggest that he is but won't confirm it. >> but there have been other terrorist suspects, let's call them, in yemen who have been targeted for assassination by u.s. drones in yemen. is that right? >> that's right. immediately after the 9/11 attack, there was a predator drone shot taken inside yemen with the approval of the yemeni government. and it killed an al qaeda member. and so yes, that has happened before. we know there's precedent for it. and one suspects that all lack i can awlaki would be a prime candidate for such a list.
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do you think ethics concerns will haunt the democrats during the mid-term election. and palin hits a sour note about her choice of words about president obama. nce... ...as well as motorcycle insurance... gecko: oh...sorry, technical difficulties. boss: uh...what about this? gecko: what's this one do? gecko: um...maybe that one. ♪ dance music boss: ok, let's keep rolling. we're on motorcycle insurance. vo: take fifteen minutes to see how much you can save on motorcycle, rv, and camper insurance.
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let's get back to jeff for the cafferty file. >> the question this hour is will ethics issues haunt the democrats come november? and some write it will be small ball and jobs in the economy will be big issues for most voters. subtext will be focusing on the federal debt. steve in philadelphia writes that ethics will certainly play a role in the upcoming elections but that role is minor compared to the pent-up anger and disgust toward obama and the democrats. the anthony in new jersey says if they have any memory left,
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scandal effects both parties. when i vote i ask, what have you done for me and the country lately? and harry writes, isn't it always the case that those in power will become useless and misinformed. it wasn't long ago that the shoe was on the other foot. tony writes that both parties take turns with regard to extramarital affairs and just plain arrogance. it looks like it's the democrat's turn this cycle. jason in hawaii, the problems that we face now overshadow a couple of trials about corruption. even as dumb as the american voting pub electric is collectively, they are not going to be moved on a national level by this incumbent is a far dirtier word than the democrat or republican. if you want to read more on this, find it on the blog at
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cnn.com/caffertyfile. >> see you tomorrow. it's a most unusual phrase to use when speaking about the president of the united states. sarah palin used it and now some critics think that she should wash her mouth with soap. when our clients' needs changed we changed to meet them. through the years, when some lost their way, we led the way with new ideas for the financial challenges we knew would lie ahead. this rock has never stood still. and there's one thing that will never change. we are, the rock you can rely on. prudential.
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window fashion boutique. and the obama family bo walks on the south lawn. hot shots, pictures worth a thousand words. sarah palin has stirred the pot again. this time it was a most unusual comment. >> reporter: it takes kahoonas for her to do what she did. >> what do you have written on your hand? >> reporter: what took nerve was using that certain word against the president. >> january brewer has the kahoonies that the president does not have. >> reporter: the next thing, it's on everyone's lips. it's not a dirty word, just a
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vulgar word. when i say cojonies, it sounds nice. >> this is not cojonies, this is cowardness. >> the only spanish word i know. >> reporter: not even amigo? jfk used the word cojonies about foreign service staff. >> they don't have any brains. >> reporter: and paul writes that president george bush used it to praise tony blair. and so does pita. in no time, what sarah palin uses with the word cojonies was on a t-shirt.
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actually, the word is commonly misspelled c-a instead of c-o. it's a brilliant word for sarah palin to use says a linguist? >> reporter: unless it's a supporter praising hillary clinton. and then who is tougher, hillary or barack obama? she gave him one of her cojonies. >> she gives him one so he has two. right? talk about getting all balled

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